Do you have a loved one who is suffering with panic attacks, anxiety, and/or agoraphobia? It can be difficult to understand the struggle of fear and anxiety that a person with panic disorder often experiences. As friend or family member, you may want to be supportive, but are uncertain about how you can be the most helpful.
The following articles outline some tips for friends and family members who have a loved one with panic disorder:
Mindfulness is a practice that brings awareness to the present moment. It originated from ancient Eastern philosophy, but has recently grown in popularity throughout Western culture as a way to help ease stress, anxiety, and other panic-related symptoms. The practice of mindfulness can allow you to let go of stress, release physical tension, and overcome negative thinking patterns.
The treatment process for panic disorder typically begins by receiving a diagnosis from your doctor or mental health provider. Once a diagnosis is established, you will then collaborate on developing the appropriate treatment plan for your needs. Treatment options for panic disorder frequently entail prescribed medications, some form of psychotherapy, and the use of self-help strategies.
Through treatment, a person with panic disorder can expect to learn how to successfully cope with his/her symptoms. Once the treatment process is complete, it is important to maintain this progress by continuing to work on recovery. Read more. . .
Benzodiazepines are a type of anti-anxiety medication that are often prescribed to treat panic disorder and other anxiety-related conditions. Some common benzodiazpeines include Valium, Ativan, Xanax, and Klonopin. These medications have been proven to be safe and effective. However, many people who are prescribed benzodiazepines for panic disorder are concerned about their risk for developing an addiction to these drugs. Learn more. . .
Agoraphobia is a condition that is often associated with panic attacks and panic disorder. This phobia involves an extreme fear of having panic attacks in places or situations in which it would be very embarrassing or difficult to escape from. Agoraphobia is a potentially disabling mental health disorder, as many people with this condition begin to avoid a multitude of places and circumstances. Some agoraphobics even become homebound due to their overwhelming symptoms. Fortunately, there are ways to manage the symptoms of agoraphobia. Learn more. . .
Have you been feel stressed out and overly anxious lately? Do you experience sudden feelings of dread accompanied by upsetting physical symptoms, such as chest pain, sweating, and shortness of breath? If you have been showing these signs and symptoms, you may be wondering if you could possibly have panic disorder.
Panic attacks are the main symptom of panic disorder. These attacks are also experienced with other anxiety disorders and medical conditions. Panic attacks are a subjective experience that are often perceived of as terrifying. During a panic attack, a person may have a wide variety of frightening physical sensations, upsetting emotions, and disturbing thoughts.
Panic disorder is classified as an anxiety disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). There are other conditions listed in the DSM that share similar symptoms to panic disorder, such as PTSD, agoraphobia, OCD, and social anxiety disorder. These separate conditions are not only related, but often co-occur with panic disorder. Learn More. . .
If you have determined that you would like to get help for panic disorder, you may be wondering who you can turn to for professional help. There are numerous types of qualified mental health professionals available to treat the symptoms of panic disorder, panic attacks, and agoraphobia. Psychiatrists, professional counselors, and psychologists are some of the most common mental health specialists who can provide you with an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
If you have been experiencing anxiety, fear, panic attacks, or other panic-related symptoms, you may be wondering when is the best time to seek treatment. While it is possible to have one or two panic attacks in your lifetime and never experience them again, it is always best to seek treatment once one occurs. Your doctor will be able to rule out the possibility of any other mental health or medical condition.
- When is the Right Time to Get Treatment for Panic Disorder
- Preparing for Your First Doctor's Appointment